NORTH OF THE NOISE

 

And so I come north
where the air cuts colder,
where daylight is a breath
that barely bays, night
a blanket bound to days.
I am not here to stay but
on a sway through ticking
time, to see what rests
where the light is less,
where day finds end before
being truly bent, where life
harks to harder as the day
hangs darker, dreams now are
the comings and goings,
the stuffing out of hours
before a bitter blanket of
blinkered blindness. Sad hearts
grow sadder, they say, grow
seasonal into sombre, into
the shadow of a city standing
still, waiting for the will. Days
fall short, are gone before
they can be caught, like hours,
like time, like the hand in that taxi
I once held, like all we cannot
hold, like all that ticks onwards,
all that moves off with the light
while I come here to the land
which time has left behind it.

  

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

From the poetry series A Month With Yeats

SUNKEN SHIPS AT SEA

 

And down fell the sun
and drowned within the sea
and rough raged the wreckage
as the sailors tried to flee.

And down fell the sun
as a storm claimed the skies
and water stole the rafters
and silence crushed the cries.

And down fell the sun
as the sirens swam to shore
and laid down the bodies
of the lives that were no more.

And down fell the sun
and a sorrow filled the air
as the sirens sang their song
combing cords through golden hair.

And down fell the sun
as their tears flowed like waves
and they kissed the fallen sailors
on the sand, now their graves.

And down fell the sun
as the sirens said goodbye
to the men mortal men who loved them;
the sea’s sad sirens who cannot die.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a poem from the A Month with Yeats Series

REMEMBERING FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13th, 2015. NOUS SOMMES PARIS.

 

In the supermarket
on Saturday
in the 14th, 
on the 14th,
in numb November,
in Paris, their Paris,
our Paris, my Paris,
people push grief 
in comfortless trolleys 
down shadowed aisles 
of silence, strangers
claiming their spaces
in solidarity, in queues 
of slow moving sorrow,
seeing shadow in places 
where once there was light, 
terror in crowds 
where once there was music,
death in their streets
where once there was life.
In a supermarket
in the 14th,
on the 14th,
as the numbers rise
on a Saturday morning,
there is nothing available 
on a single shelf
to fill the void
of what we lost
in the night.

It’s not the whole world 
It’s not the end of the world
but it’s far too far from a perfect world.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Published in Nous Sommes Paris, a Poetry book commemorating the November 13th, 2015 Paris attacks, by Eyewear Publishing

THE DIRGE FOR DYING DREAMERS

So the seagulls sang
As I sailed away
And my future swam out to the seas,
And the cormorants crooned
A slow distant dirge
As my mind swept to waves of memories,
I remembered you there
On the beach that day
As your eyes poured torrents of tears,
I had promised you then
That one day I’d return
But my words could not wash off your fears,
There were often times
I drowned in your arms
Don’t you know how you held on to me,
All the fear that you had
That one day I’d run away
Had chased me off and into the sea,

And so I sailed on,
I sailed on,
I sailed on,
I sailed on into deep and endless seas,
And as you watched on,
You watched on,
You watched on,
I heard your cries on the cold morning breeze,

But I hope you’ll never know
What it’s like to lose your way
While lying as bodies entwined,
And I’m sorry that you’ll know
What it’s like one more time
Being the one who has been left behind.

Till eve turned to night
I swam through the past
Till a wild storm cast our young ship astray,
And the herons all hushed
And the currents all crashed
As the night stole the light from the day,
Then the skies roared with rain
Which the waves rose to meet
As Sirens sang up from the sea,
While in the mounting rage
The pipes called me home
Playing doomed strings of sorrow for me,
And so the wild winds wailed
And the bodies were strewn
And to the moonlight I sent one last prayer,
While like a slow deep dive
Of a gannet in flight
The ship sailed into ice cold despair,

And so I let go,
I let go,
I let go,
I let go of what was once you and me,
And when I let go,
I let go,
I let go,
The waves made a resting bed for me,

But I hope you’ll never know
What it’s like to lose your way
While lying as bodies entwined,
And I’m sorry that you’ll know
What it’s like one more time
Being the one who has been left behind.

So the seagulls sang
As I was slung from the sea
And the crowds gathered slowly around,
And the albatross loomed
And waited and watched
As my body washed up on the ground,
Then the herons all howled
As you heard the news
To drown out your sorrows and pains,
And the cormorants crooned
That slow distant dirge
As I spluttered and slipped and the blood left my veins.

In the distance I saw her
Come floating into sight
Her red hair in ringlets like you,
Swimming through the waves
Like a watering flame
She swept me up and out of the blue,
For seven long years
We’ve mourned for our loss
Like a sharp stab from the roses sly thorn,
That wee child of our love
Who for this earth was too frail
Has dived into this new world reborn,
She forgets it, my love
Forgets that dark night
That last night when she left us alone,
So rest now, my dear
For our angel is safe
Now that her Daddy’s come home,

But I hope you’ll never know
What it’s like to lose your way
While lying as bodies entwined,
And I’m sorry that you’ll know
What it’s like one more time
Being the one who has been left behind,

How many miles
Do we need to walk along
How much do we have to explore?
How many tides
Do we need to sail on
Until we can find our own shore,
Until we can find our own shore,
Until we find true love once more?

SILENT ABSENCE

Missing you,
The silent absence,
The stillness,
The sadness,
I close doors
And pretend
You’re behind them,
I turn out lights
And imagine
You’re beneath them.

But

The silent absence,
The loneliness,
The moodiness,
Says so much more
About the distance
Now dividing us
Than all the noise
We ever made
When you were here.

And yet I’m still

Missing you
Here and now,
Amid tasks of
Dividing, deciding,
Rising and dying,
In this house
In this home,
In the city
All alone.

All the while

Missing you
As clocks tick
And miles multiply
Like all those
Minor mistakes
Unmaliciously made.
Maybe the miles
Will make more of us
Than the holding did.

And then back to

Missing you,
Missing you,
Missing

Even though

I missed you
Just as much
When you were here…

I Smile

I smile
To break the silence,
I smile
To deflect the darkness,
I smile
To wake the day,
I smile
To kill the fear,
I smile
To steady the tears, falling,
I smile
To remind myself I can,
I smile
To remind myself of all that can be, better,
I smile
To find the joy,
I smile
To hear the music,
I smile
To feel alive,
I smile
To laugh in the face of depression,
I smile
To let the love in,
I smile
To let the negative out,
I smile
Because it is a choice,
I smile
Because the other is too much,
I smile
Because I cried, before,
I smile
Because I am here, today,
I smile
Because I am living, now,
I smile
Because I am a part of it all;

The freedom and the chaos,
The push and the pull,
The living and the dying,
The beginning and the end,
The tears and the happiness,
The folly and the fate.

I smile
Because it’s more beautiful than a frown.
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RAIN IN SUMMER

In the summers heat
The raindrops fall
As the dust of August
Runs down the wall.
Inside the house
Lie endless cries,
Broken hearts
And comfortless toys.
A child on the outside
But silent within,
No one to play with,
No reason to grin.

Sadness falls
Like rain in winter,
Leaves in autumn
And the all too little
The hope of spring.

All she wants
Is to wish on the stars,
To fly with Venus
And twinkle at Mars,
To spread her wings
And take to the skies
To stay above clouds
Where the rain never cries.

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